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Speculation that Comet is close to administration
Better get your seasonal buys in early, while there's still a bit of competition - this would leave Currys in a very dominant position.
Unfortunately Comet doesn't have enough customers who think as you do.
Having just made a "technology purchase" this week, I can comment that Comet did not have the same range (of tablets) on display as PC World. Everyone likes to physically assess the goods before purchase. PC World wins in this respect.
Also, Comet did not have £10 off the selling price like PC World did.
I'll be sad if Comet go to the wall - it's always provided some competition for PC World/Currys and it has been run by the same management for many years. Comet has even featured in our local paper as a "family run business".
However, Comet seems to be darker inside, there are less staff to ask you if you are OK (every 30 seconds) and it is slightly smaller, thus giving a poorer choice and displays.
I only hope that the possible final closure of this company, does not have the same events and sadness that became evident with the demise of the now defunct Tempo Electrical Superstore saga a few years ago, and the heartaches that brought to the customer's who wanted refunds and warranty expectations resolved in an easy and amicable way.
In my books, Comet had a lot of business from me and mine from the start of the Kingfisher group purchase, but things went downhill rapidly when other company's became involved with Comet buy-outs. After a final disagreement with customer services, me and mine have never entered a Comet store since, so their demise will make very little difference or concern for us. Perhaps this lack of customer care was a failing, and the management teams hadn't realised this?.
As for the competition, even those existing establishments seem to be struggling if reports are anything to go on. PC World/Currys in my opinion are nothing like they use to be, and visits to two of my local branches seem to suggest lack of stock and customer flow, and it would appear that a re-organisation is already in the thinking stage, especially for duplication of stores in the same areas. Even Argos seems to report lower sales, with regular offers of discounts and sale incentive to attract the paying public. I guess that many company management teams in the same commercial market, are feeling a little nervous, and perhaps Christmas sales might ease or increase this concern. Who knows?.
I bought my very first receiver from Comet in the mid 70's when they were a refreshing addition to the hight street. Sadly that refreshing faded away and they just became another one of the same trying to sell everything with a staff who knew little about anything and seemed more interested in selling you insurance for what you were buying rather than the item itself. That always bothered me as it made you wonder if the item was any good to begin with.
Always sad to see a big company go under but if people aren't buying something has to go.
Lots of large stores on prime sites, open long hours soon runs away with the money if consumers tighten their belts.
Add in an increasing number of purchases made via the internet to none physical stores and the Comet business model starts to look shakey as the previous owner realised.
Quite some time since I last visited a Comet or Currys/PC World. They don't really offer much over and above an internet purchase. I consider any advice from the staff to be meaningless and it's not as if I can actually try most of the products prior to purchase.
Electrical shops seem to have disappeared from the high streets in my area.
Currys /Dixons Comet all gone from the four local towns and two cities.
PC world only in the major retail parks city of the two cities.
The recession is definitely still here in a big way, there were a lot of empty shops in the city when I was "dragged out" yesterday and a poor amount of choice on the high streets.
Only places doing well were the cheap shops - Bargin Buys, Home Bargings - B&M etc.
All businesses in the consumer electronics sector have been having a tough time as consumer spending has slowed throughout the first three quarters of this year.
We're now entering a period when these companies expect to see the start of a big seasonal sales surge, and this year they have the bonus of several launches in the one sector that is showing real signs if life - the tablet market.
Whether the expected surge will materialise is anyone's guess, and even if it does it probably won't be enough to round off the year on a positive note for some companies. It's a case of weathering the storm for the big-hitters, and of doing some fast talking to the banks for the smaller businesses. My own view is that the early months of 2013 are going to bring news of more work for administrators.
Ending the speculation, Comet has confirmed that it will go into administration next week. the administrator will run the business as a going concern whilst options for sale, closure, and liquidation are assessed.
Anyone concerned about a customer service issue can contact the service team on 0844 8009595
this would leave Currys in a very dominant position.
Dixons shares have risen sharply today on the news. I'm left wondering whether to cut my losses and sell my stake in Dixons or wait to see if the seasonal sales surge materialises and boosts the share price further.
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